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“Casa Marina Reef was awesome!”

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Casa Marina Beach & Reef
Ranked #22 of 30 Hotels in Sosua
Reviewed 14 June 2004

My sisters and I stayed at Casa Marina Reef for 7 days starting on May 29, 2004 til June 5, 2004. We had the time of our lives! First, we were worried about the weather because the forecast said it would rain all week, but it rained for about five minutes the entire trip. The staff there was awesome! They were really friendly and entertaining. The best staff member there had to be Kelbi, who directed the bike tour, water areobics and organized games. You'll notice him to be the one who always says: Oh my God, I love my job.

The seafood a la carte was the best. The food at the buffet restaurants was good enough. Each day there was a different theme, such as BBQ, Italian, Spanish, etc, but their pasta was always too salty. The pool area was always really clean and the same can be said about the beach. There were the occasional thong or fat topless people, but the resort's scenery makes up for it. The bar had a variety of choices and a list of drinks that the bartenders are familiar with.

The nightly entertainment was very entertaining. The staff would put on a show, either intricate choreographed dancing or lip syncing numbers, it was still exciting to watch. The only local club we went to was called Classico and there was a cover the night we went. It's full of locals and visitors and played mainly latin music with a hip hop beat. Guys should be careful of the local ladies in the club, b/c many of them are prostitutes or thieves, so watch your money. The resort's disco can be fun, depending on the crowd that is there, but they do play really good music.

We took only one excursion while we were there and that was purchased through Mel's Tour which was just outside the resort. The tour was called Jeep Safari US$25 and it included swimming and climbing seven waterfalls and then sliding or jumping back to the beginning point. Make sure you tip your tour guides because they are a big help and don't make a lot of money. The tour also includes stops in the local village where there's a small market, you get to sit on a funny looking bull and taste some really good cooffee. Bring a bag of candies so you can give them to the local children. But do not give them all away at the first two stops (about 5 stops in total) b/c there's more children along the way. A lunch is included and the food actually tastes better than the resort's. But bring enough money for all these things, such as shopping and tipping.

One complaint I might have is the watersport, wich was hardly ever available. For both resorts, they only utilized 2 kayaks, and the pedal boats were extra and wind surfing was only available to those who knew how to windsurf.

The resort is close to Sosua Beach which is five minutes away. The sand is more powdery and water even more clear. The difficulty in getting there is passing through the market with the local merchants trying to get you to stop in their store. The shopping can get tiresome because the stores all sell basically the same things, but the prices vary depending on your negotiating skills. Always start your bargaining at about a quarter of their asking price and your should pay only about a third of what they price you with. Our exchange rate was US$1 = 48 Dominican Pesos. Everything is cheaper when purchasing in Pesos and the hotel exhange rate is similar to the exchange banks outside the resort.

We had a blast and it's only been a week since we got back, but we all miss it terribly. We want to go back because it's a complete different (more relaxing) world there.

Thank diemmie17
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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2,545 - 2,549 of 3,853 reviews

Reviewed 12 June 2004

We have stayed at Casa Marina Beach and Reef twice, Dec 2002 and March 2004. It was a piece of Heaven. The staff is friendly, the food is great and there is plenty of shady areas if you want some relieve from the sun. We are taking our children and grandchildren this coming Dec. I have read some of the reviews and I think some people are pretty spoiled if they can't have a good time at this resort! It is the most relaxed atmosphere that you can come across. We have traveled all over the world and the Casa Marina rates right up there as one of my favorites!

1  Thank butterflyass
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
Portsmouth England
11
Reviewed 11 June 2004

We were a party of 18, the youngest was 18 months old. We stayed at casa marina beach from 28/12/03 to 12/01/04. It was the best holiday ever. Lovely people, great food, excellent entertainment, lively bars, quiet bars, beach was fantastic with the gigantic waves, a bit dangerous for little ones. The river rafting was simply breathtaking, quadbiking was hilarious. We never stopped laughing for the whole two weeks. We had rain in the day for about 20 minutes, not every day. Some torrential rain in the evening about three times. But when the sun came out it was scorching. We enjoyed every minute, and we are going back this year but there is 25 of us, and My Husband and I are renewing our wedding vows, I cant wait. We have also kept in contact with Paddy, he is a diamond, he phoned us the other night, and said he couldnt wait to see us again. The people were genuine, friendly, caring, and I would feel safer walking the streets at night over there than I would in England. In fact if I ever win the lottery I would seriously consider buting a home in the Dominican. Roll on 26th December!!!!!!

1  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
england
11
Reviewed 4 June 2004

it was fab great food great drinks great shows esp holliwood a must see !! if fanny is reading this send me your email i lost it !!! soz !!!

any way fanny is a staff member really nice and she looks after the kiddies on there hol had a great time recomend 2 every 1 from me denise!!*

1  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
Dayton, Ohio
14
Reviewed 4 June 2004

Mu husband, myself and our 6 month old daughter recently visited Casa Marina Beech and Reef Resort in Sosua, DR. We read as much as we could before going and did our best to educate ourselves on what to expect. My first advice is stick to these unbiased reviews. We used reviews that were controlled by an outside source through debbies something website and the honesty is very biased. Our check in was fine, we chose not to take the bus from the airport and paid the $15 for a cab and were glad we did. The bus is shutteling people to many different hotels in Purto Plata and Sosua we arrived much earlier then our traveling companions did. Taxie rides are scarey! Roads are not mainteneced so everyone drives in the middle, the more aggressive driver goes first. Mopeds and dirtbikes are everywhere, exhaust is horrible. I'm quite certain their mortality rate is very high.
We requested a 1st floor room on the reef side with a crib. We had read that the reef side was newer and cleaner. Rooms are bare basics with no amenities and very little drawer space; 3 drawers and 2 small desk drawers. Our room was clean but 1 bed was broken, it was sunk in on the right side. Housekeeping did a nice job we tipped her daily and gave her treats and lotions as well. We were located right beside the childrens pool which was very convenient as we had an infant with us and it alloed some freedom to remain outside while she was napping. The pool on the reef side is the only one with a childrens pool, though both sides have a nice pool. Activiteis were held on the reef side. No bars at one end of the resort, the end we were on, so you had to walk down quite often. Servings are very small and not much alcohol in them. El Presidente beer is very good, add a lime for extra flovor. The bartenders do not know how to make many drinks, they pour whtever they want in your glass. I ordered a seabreeze(cranberry, vodka and grapefruit) I got a cup of pina colada mix with vodka in it. Buy your own and keep it in your room. Oh here is another thing, no ice. No refrigerators in your room and no ice machines anywhere. They have a gallon water jug in your room and you can go down the hall to get purified water but there is no ice available. We took a lot of large zip lock baggies with us and would take ice from the resturant at meal times. It is very difficult to feed a baby when there is no refrigeration or ice. I would not recommend taking infants unless you breastfeed or they are already on whole milk. Do not drink water from your sink or shower but the purified water is fine for brushing teeth and drinking. We drank the water in the resturants and had the ice, no problems. I even had a drink outside the resort, forgetting the ice rule and I had no problems. It is recommended you get a hepititis A vaccine before going, the many locals have it and they touch food you might be eating.
Rain, rain, rain. We had 2 1/2 days of sun the next 4 1/2 were rain. Te resort is lovely, however, when it rains all day and is cloudy there is nothing to do. The beach is down some stirs and down a slight hill and was not very accessible with a stroller. It is situated on the Atlantic Ocean so don't expect Caribbean Blue Seas. The sand is amber, not white. I didn't think it would bother me but surprisingly I had very little interest in the beach. Take books and magazines an your own snacks. Pringles are like $5 US a can. Don't buy your coffee or rum in the souvinier shops, walk down to the grocery you will save big time. We braught back rum and coffee for friens, very good deal. Stay away from the Brugal it is awful, buy the $9 bottle, it is worth the money.
Sosua Beach is interesting. It is the only thing the town has going for it and the locals us this beach and discard their trash all over it. I was disgusted. There are some friendly bars on the path down to the beach but it is full of vendors, prepare to be bombarded. It is quite intimidating. My husband and I waited until we were just bored out of our minds before we tackled that walk. The street vendors are just as bad and there are guys all over wanting to change U.S. $ for DR because they charge you a fee. Most of the retail establishments will give you a differnt price US vs. DR. It is best to change your $ at the airport in Puerto Plata to get the best exchange rate and pay for everything Dominican. Take a calculator. I never did figure out thier coins. The hotel will exchange your money but the entire time we were there the rate never fluctuated. We went to the airport and the rate was much higher then we were led to believe. Fees.
Don't buy cigars in the gift shop, they are junk. Go to the Super Super Liquors store in town and they have a humidor with a large selection. Don't trust the street vendors. We went all the way back to Puerto Plata to Cafe' somtething to get cigars as was recommended and the guy carries 1 kind of cigar in all differnt sizes. A cigar my husband has never heard of. The owner claims he has no idea where any Dominican brand name cigars can be found. What a load of crap. A cab form the hotel to Puerto plata is $35 us round trip and you have the driver at you disposal for 5 hours. Have a plan and a map or know Spanish fluently and you will get your monies worth. We didn't, the air stunk of pollution and I held my baby so tight as we had no idea where we were going and the driver couldn't find it and we don't speak Spanish.
Sunny dys were nice, but I wouldn't go back. Maybe to Punta Cana as it is pristine beaches and I would have to stay at a 5 star hotel with ammenties and get a great rate. Oh, the food was good, many different choices and nice ambiance. You get a meal coupon for the full dining experience for 3 different resturants, Mexican, Italion and seafood. We liked Mexican the least, Italion was nice (on beach) and seafood was very nice as well. Not much of a selection on the seafood menu but the seabass was very good.
Feel free to contact me if you have any further questions.

4  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Casa Marina Beach & Reef

Address: Calle Alejo Martinez, Sosua 57600, Dominican Republic
Region: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > Puerto Plata Province > Sosua
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#9 On the Beach Hotel in Sosua
Price Range: $119 - $298 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Casa Marina Beach & Reef 3*
Number of rooms: 676
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Casa Marina Beach & Reef Resort
Casa Marina Reef Dominican Republic
Casa Marina Reef Sosua

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